The National Insurance Commission in partnership with FSD Africa, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH’s FSD component have launched InnoLab, an accelerator programme designed to support and grow the nation’s insurtech start-ups, while unlocking innovations which can help transform the country’s insurance industry.
Through the programme, 10 innovators will be selected to participate in a 10-week programme that will provide them with the expertise, resources, and support to develop and scale market- ready solutions that bring social or commercial value to Ghana’s insurance sector.
In line with this, GIZ Ghana on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Tellistic is supporting FSD Africa and the National Insurance Commission with the roll-out of InnoLab, by coordinating the programme and providing technical support to qualifying insurtechs.
InnoLab will leverage global best practice and results from similar initiatives, including BimaLab in Kenya, to support the development of a vibrant insurance ecosystem. The eco-system will comprise start-ups, corporate partners, investors, and research institutions working to accelerate and scale innovation in the national insurance industry.
Africa’s insurance sector is primed for growth and technology can help unlock the innovations needed to deliver more affordable and relevant products for local consumers.
Industry insights by McKinsey indicate that Africa’s insurance industry is valued at approximately $68 billion in terms of Gross Written Premium (GWP). However, most people who wish to get insurance products and services are deterred by high premiums and products that do not meet consumer needs.
To widen insurance coverage, FSD Africa plans on rolling out similar accelerator programmes across Africa, with plans for Nigeria’s accelerator now at an advance stage. Solutions being generated under the accelerator programmes will be designed to speak to the needs of populations beyond their borders of origination.
Among the success stories from previous BimaLab Accelerator programmes are: AiCare, a Kenyan telematics insurance provider which has secured funding from Nairobi Business Angels Network (NaiBAN) and from Toyota Tsusho and Bismart, an insurance agency which has partnered with Britam to launch a short-term school fees insurance cover called Elimu Smart which was incubated in the Lab. The cover protects school going children from dropping out of school in the unfortunate event of death, permanent disability or critical illness of the parent or guardian.
Commenting on the launch of the InnoLab Accelerator Programme, Elias Omondi, Senior Manager, Risk Regulations, FSD Africa said: “Start-ups need support to develop their ideas, which can easily be achieved through training, mentorship, and coaching. InnoLab, will provide this environment and an opportunity to create new networks which will ultimately lead to a revolution in the insurance sector.”
Dr. Justice Yaw Ofori, Commissioner of Insurance said: “the Ghanaian insurance ecosystem has huge potential and this can be achieved through initiatives such as this Innolab program, which would serve as a catalyst for insurtech firms to nurture and showcase solutions that will propel growth of the insurance sector”.
“As a key driver of change in the financial sector, innovation has led to immeasurable efficiency gains, even though these changes can sometimes be accompanied by uncertainty and hesitation. It is GIZ’s firm belief that today’s event will be the beginning of a journey for the Insurance sector to collaborate more closely with technology start-ups, to better address the insurability of policyholders by using technology to simplify processes and tailoring policies that better suit their needs” the GIZ-FSD component manager Ms. Angela Armah explained at the launch.